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Positive outcomes underscoring value of independent living

Stronger sense of citizenship, stronger communities result from people living where they choose
Deron Hamel

Independent living is strengthening self-confidence, community participation and enhancing life quality for people accessing services from the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI).

Adding to this, when people live on their own they thrive in the communities they choose to live, resulting in a stronger sense of citizenship, which leads to stronger communities.

Since moving into her own apartment in early February, Nirmal Bains says her life has taken a gigantic step forward.

She says she’s now happy with her living arrangement and is enjoying student life, taking classes in developmental studies and English at Douglas College, where she’s quickly making new friends.

Having her own apartment is providing Nirmal with the privacy she wants, while offering opportunities to learn new skills, she says.

“I have more privacy, I have more space, I have my own kitchen and I can cook for myself and I can learn how to cook,” says Nirmal.

As Nirmal is proving, one of the greatest values resulting from independent living is increased opportunity — opportunity to build relationships, opportunity to learn skills and opportunity to strengthen self-identity.

Support worker Habiba Ratansi says the same is true for Joan, a senior citizen accessing services from BACI.

Joan moved into an assisted-living apartment block last year. Prior to her move, Joan was living in an apartment that was not meeting her needs.

By working with Habiba, Joan was able to find an apartment that suits her needs and her well-being has improved significantly.

Adding to this, Joan is now active in her community and has enhanced self-confidence, notes Habiba.

Joan is now setting goals for herself, and plans on doing some travelling in the near future. This summer, she will be visiting friends in Summerland, B.C., and she’s also planning a trip to visit relatives in England.

“It’s so good to see (Joan) doing so well,” says Habiba.

Do you have a story you would like to share about the value of independent living? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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